Funding available to improve habitat for bobwhite quail

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Funding is available to create habitat for preserving the bobwhite quail in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties. SUBMITTED

RICHMOND—Forest landowners in Southampton County looking to created habitat for bobwhite quail, which prefer sunny and open areas, have a new source of funds available.

Through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, funding is available to private forest landowners for thinning tree stands and planting shortleaf pines.

“Bobwhite quail populations have plummeted in recent years due to loss of appropriate habitat, such as brushy, weedy areas, field and forest edges and fallow lands,” said Jay Jeffreys, science team leader at the Virginia Department of Game. “Forestry practices that promote healthy and productive forests can, at the same time, create good habitat for quail.”

“Through generous support of VDGIF, forest landowners in the specified counties are now eligible for up to $10,000 in cost-share funding for implementing certain beneficial forestry practices,” added Dean Cumbia, director of forest management for the Department of Forestry.

Thinning of stands gives trees more room to grow and allows more sunlight to reach the ground, Cumbia said. The additional sunlight encourages the growth of small plants that serve as food and cover for wildlife. And because of their slow, steady growth rate, shortleaf pine stands retain an open condition longer than other species.

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